A motion of no-confidence in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government has been filed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo with the National Assembly.At his weekly news conference held on Thursday at his Church Street office, Jagdeo made the announcement, adding that the move came after a meeting of his party’s leadership.In August 2014, then AFC parliamentarian, Moses Nagamootoo, had filed a no-confidence motion against the former People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government, led by then President Donald Ramotar. Parliament was then prorogued and Guyana headed into snap elections.Jagdeo explained that the APNU and AFC had proffered several reasons for their move to file a no-confidence motion against the then PPP/C Government. Among them were the restoration of monies cut from the budget for the AmerindianOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoDevelopment Fund (ADF), hinterland airports, the University of Guyana student loan programme, vouchers for public school students, and the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project.Another reason was the non-transfer of monies to the Consolidated Fund, which was held, legally, by semi-autonomous agencies. A third claim was a procedural breach in the $4 billion transferred to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and allegation of corruption. “They have not proven any of these issues so far,” he said.The Opposition Leader charged that if these reasons could have justified the filing of that no-confidence motion, then there is greater justification, now, for the filing of the no-confidence motion.He listed several things to support this contention, including the loss of 30,000 jobs; the decimation of the sugar sector; massive increases in the cost of living; and the imposition of hardships on the Guyanese people, via Government policies, such as $60 billion in increased taxes per annum.He also pointed to “unbelievable” levels of proven corruption, exposed via, not only the parliamentary Opposition, but also by the Auditor General’s Office and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC). The hiding of the US$18 million signing bonus from ExxonMobil in a separate account, when the monies should have been transferred into the Consolidated Fund, was another example cited.Jagdeo said, “Since this Government took office we have had taxes increased by sixty billion dollars per year, although they came in on a promise of lower taxes. They came in on a promise of creating more jobs. We lost 30,000 jobs. Acts of corruption have been unbelievable.“…on almost every single issue they have failed to keep their promises… therefore if, at that time the circumstances existed for a no-confidence motion, it’s a hundred times worse now… and the people have expressed through these Local Government results, even in their own base, an extreme dissatisfaction with their policies at the national level”.The Opposition Leader further stated that it was made clear at the recently held Local Government Elections (LGE), where the PPP/C, from all appearances, came out victorious with a 45,000 votes more than the Government. As such, Jagdeo noted that it is time for the coalition to be called out for what he says are its continued failures.“So one thing is very clear is that people across Guyana have rejected the policies of this Government, even in their strongholds…we know apart from the LGE which was unusually low… we gained 120,000 votes in this election… clearly people are unhappy with the direction that our country is going in and with the policies of this Government… we, for a very long time have been pointing this out to the Government, that their direction is wrong, the policies are bringing more hardships on people…” Jagdeo said.DriftingJagdeo charged that the country is “drifting” because of a lack of vision of the APNU/AFC coalition Government. According to him, the no-confidence motion is intended to protect Guyanese and Guyana from the excessive borrowing, taxing and wasteful spending of the current Administration.According to the Opposition Leader, the results of the 2018 LGEs sent a clear message to the coalition Government, relative to the dissatisfaction of Guyanese with the policies of the coalition Government.He charged that a no-confidence motion reinforces this message. “We will have a chance to say to them that their policies are wrong… they are damaging prospects for the future and the wellbeing of our people,” he said.Jagdeo added, “…the worst thing that could happen for us is that we lose the no-confidence motion. That is the worst outcome. But we may achieve something positive from that, which is to basically reiterate through the debates, and send a strong signal to them from the political Opposition, what the people have said to them through the Local Government Elections that they need to change their ways on almost everything.”According to him, several policies need to be reversed. He called for the restoration of the water and electricity subsidies for pensioners; the restoration of the cash grants to public school students; the restoration of the annual tax-free bonus to ranks of the Disciplined Services; the removal of (Value Added Tax) VAT from electricity, water, medical supplies and services; a reduction of the Excise Tax on fuel; a restoration of the two per cent Final Tax for miners; the reversal of the increases in water rates; the reversal of the increases in University of Guyana fees; and a move forward with constitutional reform, among others. Jagdeo stressed that whether the PPP/C is successful in its no-confidence motion being passed in the House or not, Guyanese will benefit.PrincipleJagdeo said, “We are hoping that the no-confidence motion can shake this Government back to its senses and stop them from destroying our future.” Asked about the possibility of a win, Jagdeo disclosed that, in discussions with some Government parliamentarians, many of them have expressed dissatisfaction with the Government’s policies. He said, “There is a possibility….anything could happen, given what many of their Members of Parliament have been saying privately. Let’s see if that will translate into a vote in the Parliament. All it takes is one vote and everything changes.”Meanwhile, Guyana Times contacted Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira to garner more insight into the processes regarding the hearing of such a motion. What the PPP executive explained is that there are no definitive timelines for the no-confidence motion to be heard in the National Assembly, having noted that Government hearing the matter before the presentation of the 2019 Budget is a matter of parliamentary ethics.“Unlike normal motions that have a 12-day [timeline] for the Opposition, no-confidence motions are not governed by that so the normal principle is that the Government would allow for it to be heard as early as possible,” Teixeira pointed out.Though the Clerk of the National Assembly has certain powers over the business of the National Assembly, Guyana Times understands that the final decision on hearing the motion does not rest with him. The next sitting of the body is today; while the Budget should be presented on November 26 and according to Teixeira, it should be heard before that presentation.“The Government should accede to it being debated relatively early, certainly on a moral and ethically issue, it should be debated before we go to the Budget because if you a no-confidence motion and your budget is being presented, it should be heard before the Budget,” the Opposition Chief Whip posited.The PPP/C currently holds 32 seats in the National Assembly, while the APNU/AFC coalition Government hold 33 seats. A sitting of the National Assembly is set for today.